HMS Montrose has visited Australia’s northernmost city, Darwin. 

The frigate is the first Royal Navy warship to do so in a decade.

Commanding Officer Commander Conor O’Neill said in a release:

“It was a pleasure to host both the Royal Australian Navy and Northern Territory government onboard, giving us the opportunity to thank them for their support and hospitality, look back on the long mutual history of our navies and consider how exciting the future will be, with the Royal Australian Navy choosing to procure the Type 26 Frigate as the future workhorse of their fleet as the Hunter class.”

Having worked with New Zealanders, the Royal Navy say in the release that the visitors learned about the new Sea Ceptor air defence missile system – Montrose was one of the first ships in the Fleet to receive it – ahead of HMNZS Te Kaha and Te Mana being equipped with the missile system.

Having refuelled and topped-up on supplies, HMS Montrose has now left Australia bound for Singapore.

HMS Montrose is currently crossing the globe on her way to take up posting as the Royal Navy’s forward deployed frigate in the Persian Gulf. Since transiting the Panama Canal in November she has joined her Chilean sisters in a fleet review for the Chilean Navy’s bicentenary and spent Christmas at Easter Island.

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“She is expected to remain forward deployed for the next three years and, unless she also passes through the British Indian Ocean Territory on her way, this could be her last visit to British waters this decade.”
Are you referring to British waters as Darwin?? Thats how I read it! Probably just me though!

Cam Hunter

That’s exactly how I read it to. That part Must have been a cut and paste job of the visit to the last actual British waters at Pitcairn Islands.

Benjamin Rule

Cut and paste error from the Pitcairn article on 7th Jan I would suggest.

Nick C

Leaving aside the cut and paste errors, and we are all guilty of bad editing, that ships company have had one heck of a boondoggle. I was quite chuffed to get to St Helena and South Africa when I was in, not so much the Beira patrol, but they have had some fantastic runs ashore. I doubt that any ship will get the same for a good few years. I just hope they all appreciated the blue seas and the flying fish.

Daniele Mandelli

In the photo of the 23.
Mid way up main mast on small platform facing forward.
A sphere with three lens looking like a pumpkin face.
What is that for? Some sort of Electo optical sensor?
Reminds me of the ones on certain aircraft.

Cam Hunter

I’ll not b able to look at a type 23 properly again without looking for the pumpkin ?

Steve Taylor

Sea Archer optical sight for the Mk8 et other things.


TV, Thermal Imager and laser range finder. Used for surface engagements with the Mk 8 Gun.
Also used for building the surface picture in the OPS Room. The sight can be controlled from the Gun controllers console and the picture displayed as a window to the side of a radar console display so you can identify the target on the screen visually.

David E Flandry

Daniele: I think that is an electronic warfare mast that works in the IR-UV range.

Daniele Mandelli

Steve, Gunbuster, David. Thank you all.

Nick C

RGR. I think much more now than then, when you are a spotty youth you look at something and don’t take it in. I saw some wonderful things and visited some great places, and at twenty, once you’re ashore life is simple, get a meal, several drinks too many and then try, usually unsuccessfully, to chase a bit of skirt. Unless the rugger team were a man down, in which case it was an unsightly brawl on the pitch, followed by the above!

Steve Taylor

This is why we need big conventional ships. Carriers are good for wars and major disasters. But they have little utility most of the time. Twelve large cruisers with sufficient VLS and two Merlin helicopters would mean the RN would be visible from Gib to the South Seas……


You mean like those magnificent ‘liners’ the old tree funnel county class; grace, space and pace?

Steve Taylor

Yes. The RN was once a cruiser navy. On 3 for 1 basis we could have one in the Med, one pootling about the Gulf and upper reaches of the Indian Ocean, one stooging around Australasia and the Far East, and one to nurse maid the carrier. We would always be in TLAM range of most things we would want to shoot at (that’s why we need our satellites so we are not dependent on the cousins) and the flag would be seen in all the important places. (Plus we could use them for some signet. Cyprus is nice but… Read more »


T45 are taking the SIGINT role that was lost when the T22 B2s went.
Subs and other vessels also have sigint capability.
Nowadays most of the take goes straight over the satellite connection and is analysed ashore.

Steve Taylor

Never said the SIGNIT capability had been lost. I was talking about coverage. Sometimes in that line having more than one receiving station is an aid.
Size of the platform also impacts this work. One of the drivers for B2 T22 and stretching the hull was Outboard.


At least on a Batch 2 the extra space meant we got a decent sized CPO mess. With all the regular crew and then the CTs etc we had over 50CPOs on board during Ocean Wave. Great for the mess profits…carp for getting a seat!


with regards to runs ashore, More looking back…
Some of the S**t we did at the time people do not believe that anyone would do that.
Something like 2/3 of the stuff that happens in the Movie The Hangover has happened in runs ashore….with the exception of the Tiger.


& so what ?!?!?!

Steve Taylor

@ gunbuster Yes you did gain some space. In some ways T22 was the last ship class with what had become traditional ‘accommodation’. The junior rates down in the Zoo would, hammocks aside, have been just as ‘comfortable’ in ships of the 20s and 30s…….. (Also the CPO’s gained spaced in B3 T42 too) My point about coverage was in the context of I think there is a need for a class of large global ship so there would be a SIGNIT and EW presence out east most of the time listening to the Chinese (and Indians) as they gain… Read more »